PARIS (AP) — The French football federation says that FIFA has refused to give Hatem Ben Arfa clearance to play for French club Nice.
Ben Arfa joined Nice earlier this month but the French midfielder could have to wait until next season before making his debut.
The French federation said FIFA has refused to allow Ben Arfa to be registered as a Nice player because he has already played for a maximum of two clubs this season.
However, Nice responded by saying that the “decision rests with the French authorities (the FFF)” and not football’s governing body.
“In the meantime, Nice will not make any further comment,” a club statement read.
Ben Arfa joined Newcastle from Marseille in 2010 but fell out with former manager Alan Pardew, who dropped him from the first team squad. This season, he played for Newcastle in an Under 21 match in August before moving to Hull City on loan.
The 27-year-old Ben Arfa has not played for France since winning his 13th cap in the 2-0 defeat to Sweden at the 2012 European Championship.